These mobile apps for the Oscars are worthy of the red carpet

The Academy Awards are upon us, and increasingly we are using apps designed for small screens to enjoy movies made for the big screen. Whether you are looking to learn more about all the nominees through videos and biographies, like to dish about what your favorite actress and actor is wearing on the red carpet, or want to bet on winners with friends, we have some mobile apps recommendations for you.

Here are our five nominees for the best Oscars apps to download right away.

Oscars (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch: Free)

The official app from ABC and Academy of Motion Picture Arts is also the best if you own one of Apple’s iDevices. In addition to showcasing trailers, nominee backstories, and host Billy Crystal’s greatest past performances, this app gives users a backstage pass to the biggest entertainment gala of the year. Watch live feeds from behind the curtain, and pretend you’re in the control room to choose which cameras to view. The app also gathers all the Oscars news and buzz, and the most notable tweets. You can also use the “My Picks” ballot to share your predictions with friends ahead of time. This app is especially useful if you like to use the “second screen” of an iPad in the living room, as its content complements well what you are seeing on the television set.

Live From the Red Carpet (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android: Free)

For several years now, the best “pre-game” show for the Oscars has aired on the E! Entertainment Network. The official Live From the Red Carpet app is ready for prime time this year with a new and improved look and feel. Watch hosts Giuliana Rancic and Ryan Seacrest interview the stars and get an early look at all their outstanding (or outlandish) outfits. The “Live Event” feature in the app showcases tweets from the hosts and notable celebrities. The app also includes related news and E!’s famous GlamCam 360.

Vanity Fair Hollywood (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android: Free)

Didn’t get an invitation to Vanity Fair magazine’s famous Oscar’s after-party? Well, the next best thing is to download the Vanity Fair Hollywood app and pretend you are part of the Academy. This app lets you be the judge of which nominees should win and which ones should save their speeches for next year. The app also includes picks from Vanity Fair editors, and showcases who your friends from Facebook and Twitter are voting for leaderboard-style.

IMDb Movies & TV (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android: Free)

It doesn’t have to be awards season to enjoy this must-have application. IMDb, which provides trailers and very detailed information about virtually any movie, television show, actor or crew member around, has multiple uses during the Academy Awards. Download the app to watch clips of the nominees and find out which movies are worth checking out at the theater or via rental. Or, for the contrarians among us, IMDb is a great resource to tap into worthy film titles that didn’t get the love from Academy voters. Either way, IMDb will keep you entertained and informed.

Awards Hero: Oscars Edition (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch: Free)

Anyone needing to satiate a pool fix (for friendly wagering among friends, of course) during the time of year between the Super Bowl and March Madness can always rely on the Academy Awards. Awards Hero is a nice tool to create, organize and promote pools, and the Oscars edition is beautifully done. The app also includes a nice section that provides historical information for past winners and nominees.

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